The Process

Arapahoe County is committed to balancing quality of life, health and safety issues without inhibiting responsible development. Draft regulations aim to provide industry with process-based requirements that support enhanced notification to the community about operations, a proficient application and review process that promotes best management practices that will mitigate the impacts of oil and gas production facilities.

Please refer to the Glossary of Terms for clarification.

COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION 

Oil and gas development impacts entire communities, not just those who own or live on land directly adjacent to well sites. Citizens have expressed a desire to have early and frequent communication about the entire process, from application with the County to develop a site, through the production and completion of wells. 

Possible solutions: Require operators to conduct public meetings with local residents prior to or during the application process. Require notification to the County and residents living within a mile of a proposed site prior to the beginning of each phase (construction, drilling, fracking and completion). Notification must be made by mail, newspaper publication and public meetings.

DEVELOPMENT PLANS 

Operator development plans are currently proprietary and not disclosed. With impacts on a community for up to 25 years, the County desires more information from operators to effectively plan for the future and ensure that infrastructure and services are in place to support and balance both the needs of the community and the industry.

Possible solutions: Require operators to discuss immediate and long range development plans with the County prior to application submittals. Require operators to update development plans on a yearly or biennial basis.   

PIPELINE INCENTIVES 

The use of pipelines reduces impact to roadways, lessens traffic impacts, reduces odors and mitigates noise from truck traffic. The current process for an operator to apply with the County for a pipeline is very lengthy and detailed. It can take up to one year and requires public hearings and approval by the Board of County Commissioners.

Possible solutions: Revise the Land Development Code, allowing for a streamlined review process and timeline for pipeline applications. This approach would still ensure that applications are thorough, the community can weigh in on the process, and that the Board of County Commissioners has a role in the decision making.